Amazon Fire TV Stick 1 running software version 5.2.1.1 has been rooted

As the title states, the 1st-generation Amazon Fire TV Stick running software version 5.2.1.1 has been rooted for the first time. XDA forum member tehlers, along with the help of forum member Spider1996, have successfully used the Dirty COW vulnerability to root that specific Fire TV Stick model running that specific software version. The reason this rooting procedure only works on that specific device and software is because unlike most rooting methods which inject the SU binary into the existing operating system, this rooting procedure overwrites the entire system partition, which contains the operating system, with one that is pre-rooted. So the files used must be tailored made for each device model and software version. Read more ›

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Elements 50″ and 55″ Fire TV Edition televisions just went on sale for $50 and $100 off

Two of the Element Fire TV Edition television screen sizes have just gone on sale. The 50-inch size is $499.99, which is $50 off the regular price of $549.99. The 55-inch size is $549.99, which is $100 off the regular price of $649.99. Apart from the screen size, both televisions have the exact same specs. After Prime Day, I updated my Amazon Device Buyer’s Guide and used the one Prime Day sale on these TVs to predict the best possible prices we can expect for the other sizes. On my scale of Okay/Good/Great prices, this discount on the 50-inch size is an “Okay” price, while the 55-inch discount falls right in between my “Okay” and “Good” price. There’s a good chance we’ll see one of the sizes reach the “Great” price this Black Friday, but if you don’t want to wait until then, here’s your rare chance to save a little on these TVs.

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Samsung SmartThings hub on sale for $49.99 — Lowest price ever

The Samsung SmartThings Hub is on sale for $49.99 on Amazon. That’s the lowest price this hub has ever been. The SmartThings hub can control a large array of smart home devices, both from Samsung themselves as well as other manufacturers. The hub works with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and acts as a relay between Alexa and many devices that don’t yet work directly with Alexa.

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Kodi releases version 17.4 release candidate with several bug fixes

The Kodi team has just released version 17.4 RC1 of their great app. They have already been underway on v18, their next big release, but are also working on 17.4 to address bugs that can’t wait for v18 to be completed. This is a release candidate, so it’s not fully vetted for issues just yet, but if you’ve had any crashing issues, you might want to give v17.4 RC1 a try. The easiest way to install it on the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, or Fire TV Edition televisions is by using my Downloader app and entering bit.ly/kodi174rc into the URL field on the home screen. Minor updates like this new one never add any new features and are only released to improve the stability of the last major release, which was v17.

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New Apps for the Week of August 6th thru the 12th

This week there were 25 new apps and games released for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.
Rainbow Diamonds is a new platformer game from a sole indie game developer. It offers 40 levels on 4 planets to play and explore. JuniorTube is an app that offers streaming videos for kids ages 2 to 12. Videos can be filtered by age and are refreshed on a monthly basis. Pompi Caster is a new screen casting app that will mirror your Android phone to the Fire TV. Continue on for the full list of new apps and games released in the last 7 days. Read more ›

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Ikea’s inexpensive smart bulbs are now compatible with Amazon’s Alexa

Ikea entered the home automation market earlier this year with a new line of products called TRÅDFRI, which means “wireless” in Swedish. With a hub that costs just $29.99 and smart bulbs that start at $11.99, they are among the least expensive ways to add smart lights to your home. At launch, the product line only worked with Ikea’s app and $14.99 physical remote, which greatly limited their appeal. Now the TRÅDFRI has gained compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, as well as Apple HomeKit and Google Home, making them much more appealing to Amazon Echo and Fire TV owners.

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Anker to release $35 Alexa speaker to compete with Amazon’s Echo Dot

Anker, best known for their USB chargers and battery packs, has been expanding their product line into home goods under their new Eufy brand. Those products have mostly been vacuums and lights, but they’ve now announced the Eufy Genie, which is an Alexa smart speaker that closely resembles the Amazon Echo Dot in both appearance and features. With a retail price of only $34.99, the Genie undercuts the Echo Dot by $15 and has the potential for being a good alternative to Amazon’s own hardware. Read more ›

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Fire TV Stick is on sale at QVC for $32.98 for new QVC customers

If you’ve never purchased anything from QVC, you can currently buy the Fire TV Stick for $32.98 by entering promo code Five4U at checkout. The lowest price the Fire TV Stick has ever been is $29.99, which occurred last Black Friday, so this is a pretty good deal if you’re a new QVC customer. Shipping is free but expect to pay sales tax.

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Amazon Echo whole-home-audio testing complete and ready to be released

It appears as though Amazon is close to enabling a whole-home-audio feature that will allow customers to synchronize music playback across multiple Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices, according to a source who has spoken to German blog Caschys (transalation). The blog, which has correctly surfaced information about unreleased Amazon devices and features in the past, claims that internal tests of the new feature have been successful and that we can probably expect the feature to be released soon. Read more ›

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Alexa compatible security camera built with Raspberry Pi

The selection of security cameras that work with Alexa is already impressively large, especially considering the integration has only been available for a little over a month. With these cameras, you can ask Alexa to view their live feed on the Amazon Echo Show and soon on Fire TV devices, but if the selection seems pricey, you can build your own using a Raspberry Pi.

Sam Machin has built his own camera that’s compatible with Alexa’s live feed viewing feature. He’s the one who created the first web interface for Alexa, as well as a $10 Echo and other interesting Alexa hacks. Using a Raspberry Pi, a camera module, and some code that he has published on GitHub, Machin has rolled his own camera that can be called up at will on the Echo Show. He has provided instructions on GitHub for how to make your own Alexa compatible camera.

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